Learning to Communicate What I Want
by Meredith Lopez

I see the OM practice as a way of being truly seen by another person. It requires committing to learn how to feel, to not numb out. At first, I was reluctant to OM with people I wasn't romantically attracted to, but after a while I found it freeing to practice with someone I didn't know that well. It's not a way to get someone to fall in love with me. I discovered that what I really want is the heart connection. OM is a way to open up the tender parts of myself to experience pleasure and desire. It requires letting down my center of vigilance and allowing myself to be open. 

One time I was OMing with a boyfriend who I was comfortable and relaxed with. We already had that heart connection, so I was able to really feel his stroke. I had done enough OMs by then that I knew how to focus my energy on my clitoris and my connection with his finger, how to ride that sensation. When the OM ended, we decided to do another one. In the second OM, we rode these undulating waves of pleasure. It was a lucid experience of touching heaven. 

The principles of stroking apply to other areas of life too. I recently had a conversation with a guy who's a wine taster. We were having fun talking, playing, the energy between us rising, rising, and then peaking, like a psychological climax. And then I felt the energy sink back down. I considered whether to try to go back up, but I sensed it was time to end the conversation. 

There's another aspect of communication that OM teaches through asking for adjustments. Initially, it was really hard for me to do. My partner would be stroking me, and it would feel like he was a little bit off. I'd take a deep breath and try to feel what I wanted in the moment. All kinds of things would come up: guilt, shame, worry it'll make my partner feel bad. But I'd put those aside and say, “Okay, a little to the left...a little to the right...a little faster.” The more I practiced, the easier it got. 

It's actually still a challenge for me to communicate my needs and desires. But sometimes I can help other people ask for what they want. I'm dating a woman now, and I'm noticing a lot about what's going on with her. I'm being present to subtleties of what's underneath the things she says. She likes physical touch, and I'm not that drawn to it with women. So if she comes and says, “Can I hug you?”, I'll ask, “What do you really want? Do you want me to hug you?” And she'll say, “Well, yeah, but I want to make sure it's okay with you.” I help her clarify her desire, so she can make a clean request. That's what it takes to get our needs met.

Stroking takes place in so many ways.